Nets extend qualifying offer to Lopez
The offer, which would pay Lopez nearly $4.2 million next season if honored, also gives the Nets the right to match any offer made to him after free agency begins.
Both King and Lopez, who has averaged 17.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game since being selected tenth overall by the Nets in 2008, had expressed interest in keeping the center in Brooklyn since the end of the season. Even though Lopez was limited to just five games in 2011-12 due to foot and ankle injuries, he was cleared for all basketball-related activity on June 18 and King is happy with the current timetable for his return.
"He's making great progress," King said.
The Nets only have four players under contract, but King has made it a priority to re-sign many of their key free agents, including Gerald Wallace – about whom King said “we're not gonna just do a deal; if the deal's not right for us, we won't do it … but at the end of the day we'll figure it out” – and Deron Williams, who has reportedly narrowed down his choices to remaining with the Nets or signing with the Dallas Mavericks.
If they can’t, however, King is confident that he can still build a strong team for the Nets’ first season in the Barclays Center.
“We could potentially have $35-40 million in cap space, so we can replace our free agents if they choose other places, with other players, so I think that takes a little of the pressure off,” King said.
Brooklyn is also waiting to hear from guard Jordan Farmar, who has until June 30 to decide if he will exercise his $4.25 million player option for next season.
The Nets have just one pick, No. 57 overall, in Thursday’s NBA Draft.
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